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Younger generation of 'tiger parents' begins to sharpen its claws

2019-01-11 09:26:54 China Daily

A new generation of Chinese parents expects children to become more international in thought and exhibit a wide range of skills, and they are more than willing to pay to achieve their aims, according to the consultancy iResearch.

China is well-known for its "tiger parents", who push their children to the limit to attain high levels of academic achievement. Now, a new generation is rising in tandem with the country's economic development.

These more-affluent parents are members of the growing middle class; they are well educated, with many holding at least a bachelor's degree, and occupy senior positions at their white-collar workplaces.

They are now the backbone of Chinese society. With extremely high expectations for their children, they are opting for a more personalized type of education and are willing to make a huge financial investment in a range of extracurricular classes, according to an iResearch survey in 2017.

The survey was based on more than 1,000 respondents with university degrees, who earn a combined salary of 300,000 to 500,000 yuan ($44,170 to $73,623) per year and live in first-and second-tier cities.

It showed that 87.7 percent of Chinese children attend more than six hours of after-school tutoring every week, with 30.5 percent, the largest proportion, spending 11 to 15 hours on extracurricular activities. The higher their grades, the more time they spend studying after school.

The survey also indicated that 78.9 percent of parents spent more than 10,000 yuan on extracurricular tuition in 2016, with 52.3 percent paying more than 20,000 yuan. Sixty percent were willing to break the bank, with 21.1 percent saying they would ensure that their children receive the best possible education at all costs.

However, instead of demanding ever-higher exam scores, 68.9 percent of parents were concerned about whether China's public education system would foster various qualities, including independent, creative thinking, appreciation of arts and skills (painting, music, etc.), hobbies and personal development.

About 47 percent were concerned about whether schools place too much emphasis on exam scores and neglect other aspects of a child's growth. Meanwhile 95.7 percent believed that it is necessary for children to receive personalized education, which 39.4 percent said can only be provided by after-school education.

Regarding the parents' future plans, 28.1 percent said they would send their children overseas to study, while 24.4 percent said they would send them to international schools, and 47.5 percent said they would send them to State public schools.

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